Bowers & Wilkins P3 headphones pictures and hands-on
Bowers & Wilkins is known for its ultra-high-quality hi-fi systems. Behind the likes of the world-beating Nautilus speaker, it has moved its audio expertise to the headphones, first with the P5s and now the newly launched P3s.
The build quality on these headphones is astounding. At £169 they aren't cheap but nor are they right at the top of the price scale. For us, they easily best much more expensive sets for the way in which they are put together.
Bowers & Wilkins created a special fabric for the headphones which minimises sound interference while keeping them comfy. Aided by a bit of memory foam and adjustable on left and right, they sat nicely on our head without causing any discomfort, even after a few hours of listening.
Aluminium has been put to good use here, making the P3s easily complement an iPhone or iPad in terms of design. They are also nice and robust and come with a tough carrying case, should you need to keep them in your bag.
A neat touch with the P3's design is the headphones' magnetised pad section. Remove this and you can switch the cable for either an iPod-specific one - with included remote and microphone - or one to use with any other handset.
More compact than the P5s, the P3s are a much more portable way of getting high-quality sound on the go. Rather than just being a miniaturised version of their bigger brother, however, B&W has designed an entirely new driver for them which means you get the best possible audio for the size.
A few hours' playtime with them and we can tell you that for the price we have never heard anything better. They sound warm and detailed but incredibly balanced. Bass fans might want to avoid, but true music aficionados will love the sound the P3s put out.
These are headphones that do justice to the likes of Spotify's extreme syncing option and high-quality material. Even complex electronic music or classical tracks were sharp and quick with the P3s. There was no question that these headphones could deliver when it came to sound.
One thing we do have to say is that, despite the memory foam, isolation on the headphones isn't great. For a pair of over-ears it is definitely some of the best, but those who ride on noisy trains might want to consider earbuds to get the best audio experience.
In a choice of white or black, the P3s can be matched to the colour choice of your iPhone. All in all a rather brilliant addition to B&W's already strong headphone line-up. The P3s are priced at £169 and available from June
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